STAFF are now providing people with estimated waiting times due to the high demand at the Bathurst Hospital COVID-19 clinic, according to the Western NSW Local Health District.
The health district says the hospital has recently changed some "operational processes" to help deal with the demand on the clinic.
The Western Advocate contacted the health district after receiving letters that were critical of the clinic, particularly the time it took to get tested.
A Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) spokesperson said the Bathurst Hospital clinic is currently testing more than 80 people per day, with more than 100 some days.
"No appointment is required, so waiting times vary depending on the number of people waiting to be swabbed," the spokesperson said.
"The hospital has recently changed some operational processes to help with the increased demand on the clinic.
"This includes creating a dedicated indoor waiting area and giving people the option of waiting in their own cars until called.
"In some cases, the clinic staff may need to prioritise patients for swabbing."
The spokesperson said staff are now providing people with estimated waiting times and anyone who chooses not to wait and come back should go straight home and isolate.
"They should then remain in isolation until they receive their results," the spokesperson said.
"The quickest way to receive a negative test result is by text.
"If someone has a positive result, they will be contacted by the public health unit with further information and advice."
A Bathurst Respiratory Clinic, providing COVID testing, is also operating at Ochre Health on the Charles Sturt University Bathurst campus.
The clinic is by appointment only and is free for all patients.
The WNSWLHD spokesperson said the NSW Government has already committed $800 million extra funding for NSW Health to significantly increase capacity in NSW public hospitals, particularly within ICUs and emergency departments.